Feeding a Family of 6 for $100 a Week

Over the past year or so my clever hubby has been busy building our house. During this time we were renting and paying our mortgage. It was a challenging time financially but also an opportunity to learn to manage money well. Previously, I used to spend $1200 a month on groceries. After comparing budgets with my girlfriend I was inspired to get this down to $400 a month. We are very lucky to have a healthy family and don’t have any allergies or illnesses so this ended up being relatively easy for us!

Firstly I did a budgeting course called ’Master your Money’. Doing that course was like realising there was a hole in our bucket, and we learned how to put a plug in that hole. We still managed to save $17,000 during that year! When you have kids you get paid Family Tax Benefit A and B from the government, depending on your income. So our trick is that we always over estimate our income, and make it twice or three times more than it is, so during the year we don’t get paid much money from the government and simply live without it. Then when we lodge our tax returns, there is a big chunk of money that we are supposedly ‘owed’ or ‘entitled’ to, usually somewhere between $10,000- $15,000. Crazy! So blessed to live in Australia! This money came in really handy when our car blew up and we were able to buy a Toyota Prado with cash and all we did was not spend money from the government for two years!

How we spent $100 a week:


  1. Have a reason why you’re doing it to motivate you. I figured the more we spent on eating, the less house we would get and its temporary.

  2. Shop at the Spud Shed. The cheapest!

  3. Use free rosemary to flavour everything. My kids pick it from carparks!

  4. If you’re a vegetarian skip this. My carnivore hubby learned how to slaughter/butcher a cow and a sheep using YouTube! I think it ended up costing $4-$5 per kg for the meat which included scotch fillets, etc. I don’t recommend this, but it worked for us!

  5. Cook from scratch- I have a Thermomix and make absolutely everything using Quirky Cooking recipes. I also make my own chicken stock.

  6. Toilet train earlier to save on buying nappies. I also used cloth nappies for my kids and only used disposables for overnight or going out.

  7. Wash hair with vinegar and bi carb soda! I use a Sukin natural conditioner afterward and do this no more than once a week ha!

  8. DIY moisturiser- beeswax, olive oil and distilled water

  9. Swap with others, e.g. my clever friend makes washing powder so I trade my moisturiser with her!

  10. Meal plans- we had the same things every week and  rotated them- pasta, cottage pie, casserole, vegetarian pizza, roast, rissoles. My kids ate Weet-Bix for breakfast. For lunch they had homemade bread, peanuts, fruit and vegetables.

  11. Buy in season- I always buy the cheapest fruit and get whatever is $2kg or less.

  12. Limit kids to two pieces of fruit a day- it’s all they need!  Let them eat unlimited amounts of carrots! You can get 5kg bag of carrots for $3-$4.

  13. Have dinners with friends where you all bring a plate to share.

  14. In the school holidays, Nanna would give us $100 which we'd use for 'Kids Cooking Day' where the kids could buy whatever ingredients they wanted to make whatever they wanted for a bit of a treat. Holiday highlight!

The best part about all of this was that my kids didn’t complain or feel like they were missing out! They know there are children out there that don’t get to eat three meals a day and they understand that they are very blessed. They also knew it was temporary and that their dad was working very hard to build them a new house! They believe they are the richest people in the world because they have a roof over their head, food, water, a car and a family. And I completely agree!